United States v Terry 4thCIR 30NOV2018

United States v Terry 4thCIR 30NOV2018

What happens when you place a GPS tracking device on a vehicle without a warrant or a JRE (Judicially Recognized Exception)?  In this case, the drug evidence was suppressed and a conviction gets vacated.  LEOs secretly placed a GPS tracking device in a vehicle they had searched when they smelled marijuana in the car and the defendant turned over a small amount of marijuana to them.  The tracking information was eventually used to discover and seize a considerable amount of illegal drugs.

The District Court denied the defendant’s motion to suppress, but the Fourth Circuit reversed holding that the defendant had standing to raise the objection to the search, the installation of the GPS tracking device was a violation of the Fourth Amendment, and that the “fruit of the poisonous tree” evidence that was eventually seized was tainted by that Fourth Amendment violation.

This case is a great reminder of what can happen if the “Fourth Amendment Dominos” are not lined up properly!

To read or download the full decision CLICK HERE